UK bolsters free HGV driving course capacity by 11,000 spots in bid to plug shortage
The UK has boosted the capacity for its intensive HGV driving courses, as the government looks to plug the gaps in the UK’s driver shortage.
The trickling supply of lorry drivers has deepened the supply chain disruption the country has been facing over the past 18 months.
The scheme has been widened to allow a little over 11,000 people to secure a course, after a £34m injection.
The government will provide free skills bootcamps which offer workers an opportunity to gain their HGV licence – with a “guaranteed” job interview with an employer to follow.
The first drivers are expected to be on the road from March next year, which will offer relief to businesses.
“HGV drivers are vital to keeping this country moving,” education secretary Nadhim Zahawi explained. “It’s brilliant to see the first people with their hands on the steering wheel as they head towards new well-paid careers in the industry.”
The labour shortage has hit a number of industries, after the collision of the pandemic and Brexit made it harder for overseas workers to enter the UK.
The government had already granted 5,000 temporary visas for drivers, while the department for transport has made temporary changes to rules on cabotage.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “These training camps will provide a further boost for the sector as we work together towards its recovery.”